Thursday, 29 August 2013

Citrus Cupcakes

So the birthday related posts continue.  I have one more to catch up on after this and then it happens to be my birthday this Sunday so there'll be another post following that featuring my birthday cake.  It's going to be fairly simple but hopefully delicious!

Anyway, I should be focussing on cupcakes!  As anyone who saw my posts last August might recall, the fiancé and his sister have birthdays which are three days apart.  Hence their Mum wanted to have a meal together where we could also do birthday presents.  And as has become traditional, I get to bake something for dessert!  I didn't think I should make big cakes as I was worried they wouldn't get eaten.  Instead, I opted to bake 12 cupcakes.  I made two different kinds based on flavours each birthday boy/girl liked.  This first set is for the fiancé and they are citrus cupcakes.  Originally, when I asked him, he wanted some more of the orange ones I had made a few weeks ago but then I floated the idea of a cake that had lemon, lime and orange all in one and he jumped on it.  So these cakes have a layer of lime and a layer of lemon and then are topped with a swirl of orange buttercream.  Very zesty and rather festive looking too!

Seeing as I can't get a hold of lime extract (does such a thing exist?) I chose to make the cakes using zest and juice.  I was determined to have juice as well as zest because I thought it would make the flavour more pronounced.  Oddly though, I found it a bit tricky locating a recipe that did that.  Thankfully, Lily Vanilli came to my rescue.  Her book had a recipe for lime cupcakes that used both parts of the fruit and I obviously adapted it to make a cake that was half lemon and half lime.

The overall result did look rather splendid.  My only concern was that I over baked them just ever so slightly.  I got distracted just around the time they needed to come out so their tops weren't quite as soft and springy as I would like.  I really need to get a new timer (the fiancé broke mine by accidentally knocking it onto the floor).  However, it did not seem to have a negative effect on the taste and they were all gobbled up.  You can taste all the different flavours and it is a lovely, refreshing cake.

Recipe - makes 8 cupcakes

Cakes - adapted from A Zombie Ate My Cupcake
  • 60g/2oz butter
  • 100g/3.5oz caster sugar
  • 1 tsp lime zest (about one small lime's worth)
  • 25ml/1fl.oz lime juice (about one small lime's worth)
  • 1 tsp lemon zest (about one small lemon's worth)
  • 25ml/1fl.oz lemon juice (about one small lemon's worth)
  • 190g/6.7oz plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 tbsp whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Yellow and green food colouring
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and line a 12 hole tin with cupcake cases.
  2. Set out two mixing bowls and place half the butter in one and the rest in the other.
  3. Beat the butter until creamy.
  4. Add the lime zest and lime juice to one bowl, along with half the sugar.  Add the lemon zest and juice and the rest of the sugar to the other.  Beat each of the two mixtures until they are light and fluffy.
  5. Beat the egg in a measuring jug and then divide evenly between the two bowls.  Beat until just combined.
  6. In a separate bowl combine half the flour with 1/4 tsp baking powder and a little bit of salt.
  7. In a cup or jug, mix together 2 tbsp milk and 1/4 tsp vanilla.
  8. Add the flour mixture and milk mixture alternately to one of the bowls of batter, beginning and ending with the flour.  Beat well after each addition.
  9. Repeat steps 6-8 with the remaining flour, baking powder, salt, milk and vanilla extract, adding them to the other bowl of batter.
  10. Add a few drops of yellow colouring to the lemon batter and mix in.  Do the same to the lime batter with the green.
  11. Divide the green batter evenly amongst the cases and smooth over so the top is flat.
  12. Top the green mixture with the yellow mixture and smooth out as well, making sure the batter reaches the edges of the case.
  13. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the cakes are risen and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  14. Cool in the tin for a few minutes before moving to a cooling rack to finish.  Cakes need to have cooled completely before they can be frosted.
Orange Buttercream:
  • 85g/3oz butter
  • 170g/6oz icing sugar
  • 1 tsp milk
  • 1.5 tsp orange extract
  • Orange food colouring
  1. Beat the butter until smooth and creamy.
  2. Sift in the icing sugar, orange extract and add the milk.  Mix until combined and smooth.
  3. Add a couple of drops of food colouring and mix until you get a colour you are happy with.
  4. Place buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle and pipe a swirl on top of each cake.

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